Sunday Mornings at Casey’s: Where I Can Be Happy

I recently finished a stretch of days where I worked 19 of the past 43 hours at Casey’s. Most likely because I’m single with no children, I’m the store’s register “swing” person; meaning I fill in when the regular shift workers have days off. The result is one of the most off-balanced schedules of anyone, which I have always tried to balance in some way, shape of form (usually to no avail).

I worked Friday night from 5 p.m. to midnight, Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday from 5 p.m. to 10 a.m.. There’s not a lot of wiggle room between shifts for anything other than sleep. So the past 3 days have been a running stretch with little contact with the outside world. Plus, my house is a mess.

This particular Sunday shift was 2 hours fewer than usual, as it would normally end at noon. However, after working through it, I have come to realize that I am really starting to like the Sunday morning shift.

Why? It’s because I’m identifying more with the customer base that comes in during that time. Most of the customers are in church-going mode, and in a church-going attitude – which I like dealing with. There were quite a few people that came in on this particular Sunday that I struck up more than usual conversation with, and, no, not about religion.

The Casey’s I work at is across the street from a the First Congregational Church in RF, one where I used to go as a kid and where my Uncle Scott was baptized.

One of my former PSO co-workers, as we called him there, “Da Rock,” came in and bought a breakfast pizza. Rocky was their sportswriter when I came aboard and I learned a lot from when he wrote (he’s one of my first writing proteges). We conversed about



Just got a text from one of my Casey’s co-workers wanting to know if I could switch morning shifts with her. She’d work my Friday if I’d work her Sunday. Absolutely! Jennifer, you are amazing!!!


Anyway, we conversed about high school sports, in particular the Sterling Softball team and it’s recent thrashing of Galesburg and Metamora on Saturday. Then about a half-hour later, the father of an area baseball coach (both of whom I’ve known through the years) came in and we talked about his son’s team.

More of my sports people come in on Sunday morning than the other shifts. But I think more people I am familiar with, and more people I identify with on the professional level come in because they aren’t getting drunk on Saturday night. I enjoy dealing with customers whose minds aren’t elsewhere.

Also, the pace is less frantic than the other shifts. Not many people are rushing to go to work, and I feel less rushed myself. I’m able to pace myself with chore work also. It all makes for a steady shift, and it was a fitting end to a stretch that usually makes me go bonkers at the end. Now, I don’t want to work such a stretch like that again, but I feel glad it ended on positive notes.

The enjoyment of working on Sunday mornings doesn’t allow me to go to church in the morning. When I was at my lowest point last year, I chose to find myself through going to a local church. Eventually the Casey’s schedule won out, and I haven’t been able to get in a pinned-down mindset to attend.

However, I believe I have found the next best option. It may not be the perfect option, but it’s better than sleeping in, sitting down doing nothing, traveling to the middle of nowhere, whatever. Sunday mornings at Casey’s CAN BE my fellowship, with fellowship-minded people. And still make money and make my co-workers happy by actually working with a smile on my face.

I ran into a meme on Facebook not too long ago which depicted a definition of “church”. A picture of a church building had something to the tune of, “This isn’t ‘church’;” and the picture below of people in a prayer circle in a dorm room read, “This is.” The whole point of it was that “church” isn’t just a building.

With how this past Sunday went, I think this can be my “church.”

I’m finding it a lot better than the “Saturday Night Codeman Show,” where those particular nights can be depressing.

As much as I think Sunday mornings are a great idea, it’ll be hard to pin them down for a routine. Starting August and going until mid-March, I will need all Friday evenings off for sports commitments. This makes Saturdays a demand of sorts, and Saturday mornings are tough on me because we get done late Fridays at the newspaper. What I would not like is working Sunday morning right after a Saturday evening shift because there are only 5 hours between shifts.

I’m going to continue to fight for a better peace of mind. I think realizing the value of the Sunday morning shifts is a step in the right direction. It is, toward finding some pride in working at a job which isn’t really my career.


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